What's Up KEA?

KEA Concerns over Staffing Allocation...

KEA has been fielding calls regarding the concerns over staffing projections (or lack thereof) for next year. It appears that most of our students' classes will begin in overload, and in many cases, staffed to the absolute cap. Some principals have shared with their staff that every one of the classrooms in the building will begin in overload. As a result of the District's decision, many Kent students will be sitting in overcrowded classrooms when school starts next fall and won't be getting the support they deserve.
How can KSD administrators possibly justify their decision? The state is sending the district approximately $4.8 million to support smaller K-3 class sizes. KSD administration has reported that we are "close" to 1 to 17, but "close" won't get us the full funding from the state. Our administration is considering the fiscal implications of staffing K-3 at 1 to 17, versus the impact on education. Research has shown that the greatest factor in the school to prison pipeline is for students to be below grade level in reading when they leave third grade. That is the reality of fiscal implications when a district gives money back to the state.   
Administrators might argue that we don't have the space to add more classrooms. This may be true in some of our schools. However, the law allows for specialists, interventionists, and support staff to be counted in the ratio. Legislators have given districts the flexibility to be creative.
Yet as far as we know, Kent is the only school district that may reject the state's K-3 class size money for the upcoming school year.
For now, I am asking all of you to wear RED every Wednesday until school is out. Everyone! We have strength and power in our unity. Talk about it with your colleagues, community, and friends.  And we all need to pack the KSD School Board meeting next Wednesday, May 22 and let them know that we expect more for our students!   
Insurance Changes Coming this Fall

By this time, your building rep may have shared information about the health insurance transition coming for the 2019-20 school year. Insurance plans that are currently offered through the Kent School District will be holding a 'Limited Open Enrollment' this fall.  This differs considerably from regular open enrollments that have occurred in the past, given that all K-12 education employees will be transitioning to the state's new health plan, School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program, effective January 1, 2020.
The insurance plans currently offered by KSD will continue through December 31, 2019. This includes rates, and any deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum amounts already satisfied. 
Insurance plans typically renew on November 1st of each year but were extended two months through December 2019 to align with SEBB ( as required by ESSB 6241 recently passed by the state legislature).  Federal rules stipulate that employees must be given the opportunity to make changes every 12 months.  Therefore, the district insurance plans will hold a limited open enrollment early in September, so employees can make specific changes to current insurance which will be effective only through December 2019.  A second open enrollment will take place in October, for the new SEBB insurance plans to be effective January 1, 2020.
It's important for you to watch your mail closely for information about the details of these new plans, changes that are going to be rolled out in 2020, and to not be confused by the two open enrollments. KEA does not yet have details of the new SEBB plans but will share with you when we do.
Register for WEA Summer Learning Institutes

The Summer Learning institutes will be WEA's premier professional learning offerings of the year, providing trainings in four different pathways including: 
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Special Education
  • Culturally Responsive Strategies and ELL
  • National Board and National Board Renewal Jump Starts
Dates & Places: The three Institutes will take place in Pasco (June 25-28), Battle Ground/Camas (July 29-August 1) and Auburn (August 5-8) and will offer opportunities for you to engage with colleagues, choose from over 50 available offerings at each location, and receive free clock hours.
Registration Costs: Tuition fees will vary by selection depending on length of the training but range from $20 to $250 per event. Payment is accepted via VISA or MasterCard credit or debit card only through our secure online payment system. Tuition fees include morning light refreshments, beverages, lunch, and all training materials and resources. Relevant clock hours, TPEP hours, and STEM hours are free to WEA members. Participants are responsible for their own lodging, mileage, and meals not covered by registration fees.
Who Can Attend? All Special Education offerings are open to everyone interested in attending including parents, administrators, non-member teachers and non-member ESP/para-educators, advocates, etc. All other WEA professional development opportunities are only open to WEA members.
For more information, and to register:  Click HERE   
KEA Teachers Rock! Seattle Storm Games

We are offering three games at discounted prices this year! 

Tickets are $15 and $25. 

  • June 28th (Teacher Appreciation Night) -
    Seattle Storm versus Chicago Sky at 7pm
  • July 19th (Inspiring Women Night) -
    Seattle Storm versus Las Vegas Aces at 7pm
  • August 18th (Breast Health Awareness Night) -
    Seattle Storm versus Minnesota Lynx at 4pm.
Upcoming Events
May 21 
Implicit Bias Training
May 22
Sound Alliance Group 
May 29
Executive Board
 May 30
Implicit Bias Training
June 5 
Rep Council
June 12
Executive Board
June 25
Last Day of Work 
Be sure to check the KEA calendar for upcoming events
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